Each chapter of the standard communicates important items that need to be incorporated within the agency’s training program. For example, the tools, equipment and technology chapter addresses the need for all telecommunicators (both new and veteran workers) to demonstrate proficiency on all appropriate tools, equipment, and technology they may be expected to operate within the public safety communications center. It’s important to remember these are voluntary minimum training standards, agencies throughout the nation should be, at the minimum, complying with each of these standards. Agencies that are P33 Training Program Certified – Telecommunicator 2010 meet or exceed these standards. APCO’s Call Center Standards Committee is developing a “Manager’s Guide” referencing these standards, to help agencies create training programs, further understand the requirements, provide examples and ideas to assist with saving money, and more.
APCO listens to the public safety communications community and develops programs responding to their needs. The P33 Training Program Certification process is not complicated or costly. Centers apply for certification and submit their curriculum, training materials and supporting documentation for compliance review. Upon completion of this review and verification that the training program does provide trainees with both the required content and focuses on the demonstration of decision and psychomotor skills cited within the standards, that version of the training program shall be approved and recognized as “APCO Project 33 Certified – 2010 Telecommunicator.” This certification will be valid for a period of three years and will require recertification on a three year cycle thereafter. The certified agency will receive permission to use the correlating certification mark on the training program, Web site, uniforms and more.
APCO continues to establish training standards to effectively prepare all responders to better understand their roles and responsibilities within both the public safety communications industry and public safety in general. The operational impact of expanding public policy and technology forces careful and timely review of these standards on a regular basis. The APCO ANS process requires every standard to be reviewed on a regular basis. The recertification requirements of this program are extremely important as they require agencies to evolve their training program accordingly as well.
APCO also promotes networking and information sharing to learn what works for agencies that may work for yours, especially regarding innovative training ideas and methods. This is even more important with the 2010 program as it requires twenty-four hours of continuing education for each Public Safety Telecommunicator. APCO recently launched PSConnect, an online collaboration site for public safety professionals, a perfect tool for sharing resources. This professional networking site can be accessed for free at www.psconnect.org. If you do not have a profile created on PSConnect already, make sure you log on and set one up as soon as possible. Over 50,000 public safety professionals are connecting and sharing information already.
Building and implementing a successful agency training program requires many resources and a good deal of dedication. Submitting for certification demonstrates the Agency’s commitment to training and to meeting national standards. Receiving certification for a training program is a major accomplishment for the agency, its staff and the community it serves. Encourage and support your agency to achieve APCO Project 33 Training Program Certification. The deadline to apply for certification and be recognized at the upcoming APCO Annual Conference & Exposition is April 1, 2011. If submitted before January 1, 2011 the application fee is discounted!